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Changing workplace geographies: Restructuring warehouse employment in the Oslo region

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Author list: Zampoukos, Kristina
Publication year: 2017

Abstract

In this paper we want to discuss changing workplace geographies, and the effects of restructuring, in four selected warehouse workplaces in the Oslo region. The theoretical framework for the analysis is an adapted version of the TPSN framework developed by Jessop et al. (2008), which we argue offer a more precise terminology for capturing socio-spatial change – also at the scale of the workplace. Socio-spatial concepts such as territory, place and network are used as structuring principles to examine how labour hire and labour migration have redrawn workplace geographies in the Norwegian logistics industry. The paper argues that a peripheral temporary agency workforce, many of which are Swedish migrants, are embedded in the workplace through management’s practices of control – but also through forms of social reciprocity. While temporary work agencies represent networks of recruitment which can benefit employers and employees in the short term, the paper problematises how these employers do not offer their employees a sense of workplace themselves, and also how they destabilise established workplace boundaries in their client firms.


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